Maharashtra politics is taking a new turn. Will Uddhav be toppled?


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Something serious is cooking. Don’t know which way it’s going.

Interestingly Raj Bhavan is active. Governor in an uncharacteristic manner is summoning leaders in the garb of understanding Raj bhavan tweets.

Never heard such.

President of Nationalist Congress Party Sharad Pawar met Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari at Raj Bhavan, Mumbai. This was a courtesy meeting. Member of Parliament Praful Patel was also

Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) Sanjay Raut today met Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari at Raj Bhavan, Mumbai. This was a courtesy call.

Member of Parliament BJP Leader Narain Rane met Governor Khoshiysri demanded President Rule in Maharashtra.

Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari today asked Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to resolve the issue of conduct of final year examination of students of universities in Maharashtra ‘without any further delay in the larger interest of students’.

In a letter to CM, he noted it would not be ‘ethical or appropriate’ to award degrees to final year students without conducting their examinations.

Various combinations are in political circles. A senior analyst in Maharashtra told me that Cong will be thrown out and bjp will enter. SS-NCP-BJP

Lockdown of CoronaLockdown began in March with Collapse of  -Madhya Pradesh. When it is being lifted in end of May with yet another downfall of  ShivSena Govt Maharashtra. Whichever side you turn beneficiaries Pawar -narendramodi -BJP4India

Politics in Maharashtra is on the boil once again.

The Shiv Sena-led NCP-Congress alliance is being shaken up at a time when Maharashtra is in the midst of a raging pandemic with the highest number of positive cases in the country.

The political temperature went high on Monday (May 25) evening when Governor Bhaghat Singh Koshiyari met NCP Supremo Sharad Pawar. Following this, Sharad Pawar had a 90-minutes one-to-one discussion with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackery.

The right wing media has been over excited over the development. Zee Television on its prime time news citing BJP leader Narayan Rane’s meeting with Governor Koshiyari as an important political development, suggested that anything could happen in state politics.

One of its reporters commented that in Maharashtra “what you see is not what you get, it could be something altogether different.”

The reference was to Sharad Pawar with a suggestion that he could disturb the current arrangement. This is because as a veteran politician he could read the tea leaves much earlier than anyone else.

The fact that Sharad Pawar went to Matoshree, the official residence of the Sena chief, was a significant indicator for the channel. It pointed out that this was for the first time since Sena chief took over the reigns of the government, Pawar visited him at his residence.

Rane in his meeting with the Governor had demanded the dismissal of the Thackery government saying that it had failed to handle the COVID-19 crisis. The allegation was that he could not manage the migrants and this resulted in pandemic getting out of control.

Shiv Sena MP and party spokesperson Sanjay Raut confirmed the meeting between Thackery and Pawar, but refused to disclose what transpired. He did say that the opposition (BJP) was spreading rumours. There was no threat to the government or the coalition.

Sharad Pawar had called for opening up the lockdown for resumption of economic activities. Thackery on the other hand was in favour of continued strict measures to control the pandemic.

A comment on ABP website had speculated that Sharad Pawar was indulging in back seat driving. Though as a four time chief minister he had evinced no interest in taking over the mantle this time in reality he was calling the shots, the report said. His tweets make it clear that they were not just “directive but instructions” to the state government, the comment said.

Devendra Fadanavis, the outgoing BJP chief minister has also been taking pot shots at Thackery’s “inept” handling of the COVID-19 crisis. While the pressure is gaining from the Opposition, Thackery too has been hitting back at the Centre saying it should do more in the form of financial aid.

The right wing commentators harbour a perception that BJP, which is the single largest party with 105 seats in the state assembly, has the real mandate, and should have been in power, though they did not have the requisite majority.

Regrettably for the BJP, its pre-poll alliance partner Shiv Sena won 56 seats and if they stayed together they could have easily formed the government, in a house of 288, but Sena chose to ditch the BJP. This was unthinkable for the BJP, but the biggest shock for them was when Shiv Sena chose to ally with NCP (54) and seek the support of Congress party which has just 44 seats.

Since formation of this “unnatural alliance” BJP and its supporters have been predicting that the government would not last long. They cite a similar situation that developed in Karnataka. There too Congress had propped up JD(S) to keep BJP out of power. But the coalition collapsed, as many ruling party MLAs including those from Congress, had decided to switch sides. The BJP was accused of horse trading, but ultimately the discredited MLAs got re-elected and some of them are now in the state cabinet.

In Maharashtra political sweepstakes, the NCP is like the proverbial joker in the pack. A strong perception about Pawar and his party is that, it could ally with anyone, as long as it helps NCP stay in power.

In November 2019, a perception was built that Pawar would ultimately ditch Congress and go with BJP-Sena alliance. Also the fact that Congress could never ally with Sena.

Pawar surprised everybody by deciding to stick with the Congress alliance. But the real shock was the decision of Congress party to extend support to its arch political rival Sena.

The two parties have never seen eye-to-eye and their ideologies are diametrically opposite to each another.

Political observers say that the time is now ripe for another Operation Kamala. The term gained currency in Karnataka when MLAs started switching sides from the ruling Coalition to BJP. After several iterations Operation Kamala succeeded in the state.

A similar thing was predicted for Madhya Pradesh and Kamal Nath government fell as Jyotiraditya Scindia decided to walk out of his party to join the BJP. In the initial stages, Congress leaders dismissed the evolving crisis and said that BJP needs a large chuck of seats, which will not be possible in the state. It did not help the Congress party to remain in a state of denial.

At last my summing up is that The beginning of lockdown due to COVID-19 was marked by the fall of Congress government in Madhya Pradesh, perhaps the end of lockdown would be marked by the fall of Maharashtra government”,

R Rajagopalan
This writer based in India is a holder of Distinguished Journalist category of Parliament of India over 40 years. The views and opinions expressed in this exclusive story are from the writer and not binding on the Indian Telegraph.

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